News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

South Dallas health center hosts monkeypox vaccine clinics for high-risk communities

A person's hand holds a dose of the monkeypox vaccine.
Rick Bowmer
Associated Press
Monkeypox vaccine is shown at the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City. The country’s monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped, U.S. health officials said Thursday, despite rising case numbers and so-far limited vaccine supplies.

Abounding Prosperity, Inc. is hosting monkeypox vaccine clinics this week in South Dallas to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Abounding Prosperity Inc. and its HOPE Health and Wellness Center are hosting monkeypox vaccine clinics in South Dallas. Dallas County currently has the worst monkeypox virus outbreak in Texas. The state has about 1,000 cases, with close to 300 of those in Dallas.

COO and Executive Director of the Wellness Center Tamara Stephney said people scheduling appointments “has not slowed down” since last week.

“Immediately when we did the announcement via social media, that night we had over 100 responses by the next morning,” Stephney said. “So, we’re working as fast as we can and as hard as we can to meet that need.”

Founder and CEO Kirk Myers-Hill said so far demand “has exceeded any amount of vaccine that we’ve had.”

The organization is offering the vaccine by appointment only and people looking to schedule one must fill out a short eligibility form on the website. The vaccine clinics are Thursday, Aug. 18 and Friday, Aug. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Reaching the most at-risk people in Dallas for monkeypox

Myers-Hill said hosting these clinics is about improving vaccine equity for those most at-risk for the virus. The organization works on closing disparities in the health system for Black people, including HIV treatment and prevention.

“With us being able to offer the vaccines, we’re able to put the vaccines right in the heart of communities that could benefit from it the most,” Myers-Hill said.

He and Stephney said the organization has distributed about 200 vaccine doses so far, and is planning to distribute at least 200 more this week. Stephney said the organization learned a lot from HIV and COVID-19 community clinics on how to reach people.

“It’s challenging, but we’re up for the challenge,” she said. “We’ve been able to do it and we’ve been doing this a long time.”

Abounding Prosperity is also raising money for a mutual aid fund for people impacted by monkeypox to help pay for food, bills and care during recovery.

The number of monkeypox cases nationally — more than 12,600 —is outpacing the number of vaccines available, but Myers-Hill and Stephney are adding people to a waitlist if the organization runs out of vaccines for these clinics and will contact them as more shipments come to the state and county health departments.

Currently, vaccines are available to people who are high-risk, which includes cis and trans men who have sex with men, who have also had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks. This is in addition to people who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone who’s tested positive for monkeypox.

A doctor holds vials of the monkeypox vaccine over a table.
Rick Bowmer
Monkeypox vaccines are shown at the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City. Monkeypox spread typically requires skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with an infected patient’s lesions. People can also be infected through contact with the clothing or bedsheets of someone who has monkeypox lesions.

Monkeypox symptoms and treatment options

Monkeypox is a virus that is primarily spread through direct physical contact with a person who’s infected or indirectly through their clothing or bedding. According to Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), people usually develop flu-like symptoms including fever and chills, plus a bumpy rash that can spread on the body.

If someone is infected, recovery usually takes two to four weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the DCHHS recommend getting tested by a health provider, and isolating until symptoms lessen and new skin forms in rash areas. Vaccines in Dallas County are for people who think they may be exposed, not those who are currently infected with monkeypox.

The JYNNEOS vaccine, which is the most common, is given in a two-dose series, four weeks apart. According to the CDC, if a person gets the vaccine within four days of exposure, it can stop them from being infected with the virus. If it’s given within four to 14 days, it can lessen the severity of symptoms but might not prevent someone from getting the virus.

Vaccines are also available from DCHHS for high-risk people, and can be scheduled by calling (972) 692-2780.

Got a tip? Email Elena Rivera at You can follow Elena on Twitter @elenaiswriting.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Elena Rivera is the health reporter at KERA. Before moving to Dallas, Elena covered health in Southern Colorado for KRCC and Colorado Public Radio. Her stories covered pandemic mental health support, rural community health access issues and vaccine equity across the region.